Brides and wedding fashions from the 1950s and 1960s (slideshow) –


Brides, bridesmaids, grooms,wedding dresses: Cleveland fashions 1950s, 1960s
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(Gallery by Gloria Millner, The Plain Dealer)
After the shortages of World War II, women were ready for a little luxury. And brides didn't want to skimp on the lace or fabric.
In 1947, French designer Christian Dior caused a sensation when he introduced his "new look," hour-glass dresses with long, flowing skirts — skirts made of yards and yards of cloth.
Take a closer look at the Northeast Ohio brides in the gallery of photographs taken from The Plain Dealer archives. These beautiful women are swathed in lace or cutwork. Some dresses have overskirts and puffed sleeves; others trail yards of transparent gauze or satin. Loretta Jean Fleischer looks the model of the modern princess with a tea length lace dress.
The billowing skirts and wasp-waist designs evolved in the '50s and may have peaked with the 1956 fairy-tale wedding of actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.
MGM Studios gave Kelley her gown, which was made by Oscar-winning designer Helen Rose. Rose also designed Elizabeth Taylor's 1950 hour-glass wedding gown, with its 20-inch waist.
It makes sense that a Hollywood costume designer would also create wedding gowns, the ultimate expression of a young bride's idea of perfection.
In the 1960s, designs became sleeker. In a hint of things to come, two of the archival photos show brides and grooms dwarfed by their fabulous wedding cakes. The bride remains the center of attention, but in the next decades the wedding ceremony, the venue and the increasingly extravagant reception expand the definition and cost of her special day.
The historical photographs in the slideshow accompanying this story were not consistently identified. In some cases, the dates recorded on the back of a photograph are unclear. In most cases, the names are written in longhand and are difficult to read.
If you recognize any of these brides and have additional information on the wedding dates and locations or have a spelling correction on a name, please email Gloria Millner.
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